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I hope this is the right community.
I was walking through the woods and found this weird thing, it was in front of a hunting tower, and a wildlife cam was pointed at it.

There where traces of deer(?) around it.

It's basically a big metal crank that is mounted to a metal stick and something seems to drag it in circles. Does anybody know what this might be?

enter image description here

(click to enlarge image)

This picture was taken close to Vienna Austria in the Danube meadows/wetlands.

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    Where in the world are you? I suspect it's some form of bait device but without knowing what the local wildlife might be, it's hard to know for sure, or what for (guess: wild boar) – Chris H Apr 18 at 8:56
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    close to vienna austria in the danube meadows/wetlands – gries Apr 18 at 9:03
  • So the circular track is an imprint from the cylinder's outer rim as it rolls around at the limit of the tether ?? – Criggie Apr 19 at 6:30
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    @Criggie the proportions look right for that, don't they? – Chris H Apr 19 at 9:17
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    Looks like a hidden Goa'uld ring device, with a Naquadah reactor ready for transport. – avakar Apr 19 at 19:34
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The fact that's it's staked out near a hunting tower suggests it's bait to attract animals. A couple of factors suggest it's meant for wild boar (which are found in Austria), or at least to withstand them:

  • It's clearly tough, and so are boar. A heavy (recycled machinery?) bait holder will keep them still or slowly moving for a good shot.
  • Hunting towers are used for boar, not far away in Germany (they give a good view, and the shot is downwards meaning that a miss hits the ground). Bait is sometimes used with them.
  • Omnivorous, curious boar are more likely to be attracted to bait in a device like that than other species that are legally hunted (deer), and will spend time trying to get the bait out, or drag the whole thing away.

You mention deer-like tracks. Wild boar tracks are similar to large deer tracks, but the dew claws are particularly obvious and widely spaced as seen in this image (not embedded due to unclear licensing).

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    Thanks for the acceptance, but I'm not guaranteed to be right, so it might be worth seeing if anyone disagrees with me – Chris H Apr 18 at 10:37
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    a friend of mine knows a hunter and he said he thinks its whats called a "kirrung" in german, it's basically a tube filled with corn or something similar, the boar then rolls it in a circle and corn will drop out – gries Apr 18 at 10:42
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    Yes it's for wild pig. We colloquially call the toy Sauenkreisel (sow roundabout) and the area with such toys a Schweinespielplatz (pig playground). Kirrung is more generally any place wherer small amounts of feed are put as bait for wild animals. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Apr 19 at 9:55
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    "Kirrung" (noun) roughly translates to "bait site". eg: Auf Linie bringen – richtig kirren ("to coo properly")... the actual purpose is not only to make them halt, but to be able to conveniently fire at the broadside, which results in a better hit/miss ratio; that tube/can is called a "Kirrtrommel". – Martin Zeitler Apr 19 at 14:36
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    The search term Kirrtrommel turns up matching pictures; it's usually filled with maize. There's also regulations for that; eg. Regelungen.pdf (similar might exist in Austria). – Martin Zeitler Apr 19 at 14:45

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